Kylie Trettner is a 3rd year PhD student at the University of Southern California and is co-advised by Drs. Andrea Armani and Jerry Lee. Her research focuses on novel biological materials, specifically the development of a novel hydrogel that can be dynamically tuned to better mimic the viscoelastic changes present in human pancreatic cancer tumors. The project goal is to better understand the biophysical cues that govern pancreatic cancer progression by growing organoids in this dynamic matrix and measuring the oncogenic exosome release.
Kylie is involved in various forms of outreach on campus and currently serves on the Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) PhD Advisory Board and as an ambassador on behalf of WiSE for the Viterbi Graduate Student Association (VGSA). Beyond the student organizations on campus, she actively mentors an undergraduate in the chemical engineering department and has TA-ed for a materials science undergraduate course. Outside of USC, she continues her lifelong passion for running by training for marathons and ultra-marathon relays and loves to explore Los Angeles by bike, often cycling for hours at a time through the Santa Monica Mountains.